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Tuscan Bread Soup

Tuscan Bread Soup


1 baguette sourdough bread, about 1/2-pound, preferable day old, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
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1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 large onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 leeks rinsed well and chopped
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
6 cups vegetable stock
28 ounce can whole tomatoes, drained and diced
1 bunch basil stems, tied together with butcher's twine
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Cooking Instructions

Preheat the oven to 300 F. In a large bowl, combine bread cubes, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and toss to coat bread. Spread the bread cubes out on a baking sheet, place in the oven, and bake for 40 minutes, until crisp all the way trough. Remove from the oven and set aside.

In a large stockpot, heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, leeks, and garlic cloves and sweat for 4 minutes, until tender. Add the thyme, remaining 2 teaspoons of salt, pepper, and cayenne and stir to coat vegetables. Add the stock, tomatoes , and basil stems, and stir in the toasted bread cubes. Let stand for 5 minutes.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the shaved Parmesan and chopped parsley.

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